How can Baccalaureate students, who grow up in a digital environment, learn Art History in a natural way? This objective can be acomplished with a methodological proposal where the resources used invoke a continuous curiosity for learning. We must remember that attention follows curiosity, the former being an indispensible cognative process for learning and memorising correctly. The Flipped Classroom method, and constant revision of the applied use of digital technology, are Manel Trenchs’ principal allies in this classroom experience.
Learning facilitator. This is the role Manel Trenchs assumes and from which he constantly revises how to make his students –between the ages 16 and 18- learn Art History better and more consistantly, without losing sight of the pressure the final exam of the year, the University entrance exam, imposes upon them.
Flipped classroom approach is an innovative classroom project where we begin at a point in learning that would normally be left until the end of a theme.The experience of those who are involved and the tangible and intangible results achieved using this method.
The advocates tell us…
Rather than explaining it, let’s listen to the testimony as given by the supporters. In this radio interview the Art History teacher, Manuel Trenchs, talks about the change in his role, what working with this methodology implies, and how he integrates TIC-TAC into his teaching strategies; we can also learn firsthand from his students in their 2nd year of Baccalaureate at the Santa Anna School about how they learn and participate, which digital resources they use in their lessons, and what these tasks provide for them on both a personal and academic level.
What is an inverted class like?
In the proposed Flipped Classroom designed for Art History class, this project follows this educational plan.
1.Introduction to the unit
Proposal of a video to be visualized outside the classroom. The video is about a specific artwork and serves as an introduction to the unit that will be worked on during the following sessions. At the beginning of each trimester, the students are given a list of artworks that have to be viewed before the corresponding sessions. This document is shared on the Google Site and is constantly corroborated using Google Classroom during the trimester.
2.Previous work outside the classroom
The student watches a video using Edpuzzle while answering questions corresponding to the artwork, artist and artistic style. The questions are in different formats (open, closed, multiple choice…).
The video’s conceptual content is shared in a document on the subject’s Google Site which they can download and/or print out. It could be something like a script or a literary guide. This resource is of great help for those students that need to write and highlight the information apart from visualizing the videos. Through the Google Classroom tool the tasks and activities are confirmed throughout the year.
Each student can watch the video as many times as necessary, until they have a complete understanding of the content, so that they can identify any doubts they might have. The tools used permit the teacher to have complete supervision of the classroom’s online activities.
3.Activities, tools, and class resources…during or after class.
As a group the class shares the content seen previously, the questions prepared and answered. From the previous individual work, the students already obtain a mark.
Seeing as a large part of the content is done before the class, the session in class is taken advantage of to cement information on the artist, the artwork and the artistic style.
The teacher takes up the role of moderator-manager, activating the student’s participation. This way they can assess the level of comprehension, how the information has been used and which strategies would be the most appropriate for the students to learn. To make sure they have learned and understood everything before the final exam, an entertaining online educational game is played, using Kahoot or Socrative. This activity is done in groups of 2 or 3 people whose educational stregths have varied throughout the course to encourage the internal socialization and dynamic of the group. The two groups that get the best marks in this mini test get extra points in the official exam.
4.Consolidation of knowledge
By doing complementary tasks and activities proposed by the teacher, some to be done collaboratively in the classroom, and others to be done individually at home.
As an example, we present the digital content “1872 Impression, Soleil Levant by Claude Monet” created by a 1st year Baccalaureate student (Santa Anna School).
Through Twitter, students share their learning experiences both inside and outside the class, increasing the significance of what they have learned.
In Baccalaureate you can also innovate
If we go back to the origin of this experiment, we ought to recognise the importance of a small statue, although at the time he did not know it, that was Manel Trenchs’s inspirational muse. It was at a family dinner, where none of the adults present had heard of Venus of Willendorf, where Manel decided to create an educational video about this prehistoric artpiece to share with his friends and family.
With certain amount of prior knowledge of the “Flipped Classroom” methodology and taking into account that this teacher has always maintained a constant concern about how to obtain the maximum benefit out of technology within his reach, Manel cautiously started his expedition into this new method,.
We stand before a transformation taking place in a classroom methodology that becomes more enriched with time, and Manel continues to be attentive to potential improvements that could be implemented in this process, taking into account the feedback he recieves from his students, not only at the end of a project, but equally from the very beginning and the duration of the project.
Conscious of the pressure that the University entrance exam imposes on the students in the 2nd year of Baccalaureate, Manel demonstrates that it is possible to develop innovative exercices during this stage while maintaining good marks and improving the students satisfaction, their motivation toward learning the material, and the educational connection of what is learned both inside and outside the classroom. Acknowledging the existing art that sorrounds us, in all it’s different shapes and sizes, the project offers a learning experience that’s much more integrated by allowing the students to learn digitally, encouraging them and showing them constructive uses of their technology.
Despite the dizzying rhythm at which technology advances, there is still much to learn, and this fact should not be a handicap for a teacher, who maintains an open mind to his students’ and colleagues’ contributions who use the Flipped Classroom.
Even though Manel has reached an advanced level in digital competence, it’s very probable that he can encounter more than one student in his class from whom he can learn. In the class dynamic, however, it is Manel who thinks about integrating technology in new ways so that his students may “learn more and in a better way”, who, loyal to his principals, says: “We cannot yet prove that learning spaces combine both formal and informal “places” in the 21st Century. In the future I hope to continue using and improving with these tools, and certainly with any new ones that may appear within the educational field.
If you wish to know more about this iniciative, get in contact with the person responsible for the project via email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @ManelTrenchs
To know more:
- #arthistoryflip creation by the students in multimedia, tweets, visual thinkings and opinions on the subject.
- Manel Trenchs’s personal and professional website maneltrenchs.com
- Websites on Flipped methodology:
- (in Spanish) The Flipped Classroom: http://www.theflippedclassroom.es/
- (in English) Flipped Learning Network:
- “Flipped Classroom” Monograph.
- Project Innovator decalogue.
(Translated into English by Inéz Sardín Clarke)